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HEAL Policy Center of Excellence

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Policy Focus

We Can HEAL Together: Legislation & Issues

Policy History & Impact

Advocacy Tools and Training

Policy Events

Tigerlily Foundation has a 16-year history in the policy landscape. Our goal has always been to advocate for impact by driving policy making to create equity for patients. Patient advocacy leadership has always been key—here within Tigerlily and in guiding public policy. We water the seeds of inspiration and innovation, and working with advocates, advocacy organizations and stakeholders, have created policies and legislation that have changed the lives of millions of people. We are excited to culminate these years of momentum into our Health Equity Advocacy and Leadership (HEAL) Policy Center for Excellence (COE).

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Through Tigerlily’s HEAL Policy COE, we plan to further focus this work by educating, empowering, and lifting patient voices to ensure they are amplified, in order to achieve health equity and end disparities. The HEAL Policy COE will focus on systemic changes through policy at the local, state, and federal level to:
  • End barriers to accessing and receiving quality, equitable care for all,
  • Lead innovation through patient-leadership, and
  • Achieve health equity and eliminate disparities in breast cancer.

Through the HEAL Policy COE, we seek to influence policy for these purposes through bi-directional learning, programs, and training to cultivate a center to exchange ideas, activate voices and create lasting change.

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Tigerlily Foundation is committed to advancing public policy to further our mission to educate, advocate for, empower, and support young women before, during, and after breast cancer. We are striving to make our vision of ending disparities of age, stage, and color in our lifetime a reality through:

  • Health Equity
  • Ending Barriers
  • Access Improvement
  • Leadership through Patient Innovation

We Can HEAL Together: Legislation & Issues

Join us in harnessing your Power of One to make your voice heard and BE THE CHANGE! Click HERE to HEAL together and take action today on these issues and more.

  • Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Research & Education Act of 2023, H.R. 235

    In the U.S., breast cancer disproportionately affects women of color. Black women are 41% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women and have a 39% higher risk of recurrence.

    Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), which accounts for up to 20% of new breast cancers, is also more common in Black women, young women and Hispanic women.

    TNBC is hard to treat, is often diagnosed at later stages, and is more likely to spread to other parts of the body than other types of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, individuals diagnosed with metastatic TNBC have just a 12% chance of surviving longer than five years, and there is a higher chance of it recurring compared to other types of breast cancer.

    One of the most difficult hurdles is that we don’t know much about TNBC. The name of the subtype itself speaks to that; it doesn’t have estrogen or progesterone receptors and makes too little or none of the HER2 protein. It lacks these three known designations of breast cancer and so we call it “triple-negative.” Because the cancer cells don’t have these proteins, hormone therapy and drugs that target HER2 are not effective, so chemotherapy is still the main systemic treatment option.

    In other words, therapies are very limited for TNBC. We need to know more. We need to do more research on unlocking the unknowns of TNBC. And we need to be better educated about who is at higher risk of TNBC.

    The TNBC Research & Education Act seeks to address these disparities and enhance efforts to combat TNBC by focusing on three key areas:

    • Increased Research Funding: The bill would allocate additional resources for TNBC research through the National Institutes of Health and Office of Research on Women’s Health, facilitating a better understanding of its underlying biology, risk factors, and potential therapeutic targets. This funding would enable researchers to develop innovative treatment strategies tailored specifically to TNBC and expedite the discovery of more effective therapies to save more lives.
    • Awareness and Education Campaigns: The bill also aims to raise public awareness through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about TNBC, including its signs, symptoms, and risk factors, particularly among high-risk populations. Educational initiatives would empower individuals to recognize early warning signs and seek timely medical attention, potentially leading to earlier diagnoses and improved outcomes.
    • Health Care Provider Education Campaigns: The bill lastly would ensure that health care providers remain informed on current TNBC information and education, including the elevated risk for minority women to develop triple-negative breast cancer and the range of available options for the treatment of symptomatic triple-negative breast cancer.





Policy History & Impact

In 2009, the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) updated its guidelines to recommend against routine screening mammography for women between ages 40 to 49 and to recommend biennial (every other year), instead of annual (every year), screening mammography for most women between ages 50 to 74. Previously, from 2002–2009, USPSTF guidelines recommended routine screening mammography at least every two years for women aged 40–49 and annual mammography for women 50 years and older.

This change in guidelines was and continues to be very controversial and Tigerlily is especially concerned about the barriers to accessing screening (and thus diagnostic and treatment services) for young women already facing additional barriers and potentially contributing to furthering disparities for patients of color as well as potentially delaying treatment contributing to later-stage diagnoses/progression to metastatic breast cancer. Committed to our mission to educate, advocate for, empower and support young women before, during and after breast cancer and further our vision to end disparities of age, stage and color, Tigerlily turned to public policy to protect patients. Here is a snapshot of the history of our policy work and the impact of our advocacy:


In 2009, Tigerlily worked with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to develop the Breast Cancer Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act. The EARLY Act provides: (1) campaigns to educate the public and health care professionals about young women’s breast health, (2) research into prevention of breast cancer in young women, and (3) support for young women with breast cancer.

The EARLY Act was reauthorized in 2020 which continued the education campaigns, research and support at an increased funding level of $9 million annually from 2022 through 2026.

For more information on the EARLY Act and Tigerlily’s work, please click HERE.

To read the EARLY Act text, click HERE.


In 2014, Tigerlily worked with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Susan Brooks to collaborate on the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act. The PALS Act was designed to ensure that women ages 40-49 continue to have access to annual screening mammography. In 2015, through the appropriations process via the PALS Act, a three-year moratorium was placed on implementing the updated USPSTF breast screening guidelines. The moratorium was subsequently renewed until January 1, 2020 and the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act of 2021 was introduced in the Senate in July of 2021 to extend the moratorium once again.

The PALS Act requires that any provision of law referring to the current USPSTF breast screening recommendations be administered as if (1) it is referred to USPSTF recommendations issued before 2009 (routine screening mammography at least every two years for women aged 40–49 and annual mammography for women 50 years and older); and (2) those recommendations applied to any screening mammography modality would including any digital modality.

Access to regular, preventative breast screenings for high-risk young women is essential in our effort to eradicate barriers and disparities. And this issue has not dissipated in the years since the USPSTF guidelines update in 2009. In recent years there has been a significant decline in breast cancer screening due to the Coronavirus pandemic. As we try to return to our regular healthcare after the decline since 2020, the PALS Act will assist in removing access and cost barriers for young women needing preventative services.

To read the bill text, click HERE.


Policy Events

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Meet our Panelist for the Calm'versation - this Sunday at Townwood Community Center, Houston, Tx! We can't wait to see you there💜🙌🏽This event is free! RSVP required: #breastcancerawareness #clinicalresearch #cancerawareness #breastcancer ... See MoreSee Less
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Join us for an incredible, FREE in-person event, Tigerlily Foundation: The Calm'versation! 🙌📍Townwood Community Center in Houston, TX, USA.Sunday, September 24, 2023 | 1 – 4 PM CTPrepare to participate in enriching conversations and acquire priceless wisdom. 💜RSVP now! ... See MoreSee Less
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